GARY STERN covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now’s he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues — from curriculum to financing — are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master’s thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.
RANDI WEINER covered Rockland education issues from 1998 to 2010. After a 2 1/2-year stint as a municipal reporter, she is back covering education issues in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam as of April 2012. An Ohio native and 1976 graduate of Bowling Green State University, she covered local government, marine issues, business, police news, courts and schools for daily newspapers in Ohio and Michigan before joining the Journal News in 1989. Her local assignments included early morning rewrite and police news for the Commuter Final, and covering Ardsley, Elmsford, Tarrytown and Irvington government, police and schools for the Reporter Dispatch and the Tarrytown Daily News from 1989 to 1996. In 1996, she transferred to the Rockland Journal News, where she edited the Crossroads Page and wrote a history column for two years before moving to education coverage. She returned to Westchester in 2010 and covered municipal government and schools in Eastchester, Bronxville, Tuckahoe and Scarsdale for the Journal News and Review Press Express. She has earned writing awards from the Associated Press, the Michigan Press Association, Harte Hanks Communications and Gannett. She has tended bar and danced in a beledi troup, sat on the boards of two community theaters and earned a best supporting actress award for amateur stagework in Ohio. She currently plays mandolin with the Shamrogues, Connecticut’s largest Irish band, and has served on the board of the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society. Randi lives in Connecticut with her husband, Dave, and has three children.
SWAPNA VENUGOPAL RAMASWAMY is a staff writer on the Education Team for The Journal News/LoHud.com. She joined the paper in 2006, and has covered politics, schools and development issues in all corners of Westchester county. Before that, she worked as a reporter at the Home News Tribune, a Gannett paper in New Jersey, and interned at the New York Daily News as a general assignment reporter. Swapna has two master’s degrees: one in journalism from NYU; the other in sociology from the University of Bombay.
Follow her on twitter @SwapnaVenugopal
MAREESA NICOSIA has been covering education in one form or another since 2008, starting at The Saratogian newspaper in Saratoga Springs. She joined The Journal News/Lohud.com in September 2011 and immediately turned her focus to the turbulent East Ramapo school district as a major part of her municipal beat covering the town of Ramapo in Rockland County. As a municipal reporter, she covered government, politics, crime, courts and business in addition to education. In September 2013, she became a member of the paper’s Education Team, and began covering broader education topics in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties and more than a dozen school districts. Her investigative reporting has earned numerous awards, including from the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) for a staff East Ramapo project (2012) and from the New York State Associated Press Association (NYSAPA) for a solo project about homelessness in Saratoga Springs (2009). Mareesa holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the State University of New York College at Brockport and studied journalism at the University of Westminister in London. She lives in Riverdale, the least “Bronx”-like section of the Bronx. Follow her on Twitter: @MareesaNicosia.